The Pale Woman (a poem)

Down the winding path, you go deep into the forest –

the dense birch trees make it so dark that only

a faint light breaks through and illuminates

the leave-strewn path.

You were told to avoid this place – a place

where corpses dangle from branches and

lay twisted on the forest floor, their faces

stuck in a final moment of eagerness to

kill a lifetime of sorrow.

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You Built Me Palaces out of Paragraphs

Most of our country has been in some form of quarantine or social distancing for about three and a half months.  I was sent home from work on March 5 because I had a sneeze. Fear was already high in the Philadelphia area. Those first eight days, I had some freedom – I still went to teach at religious school the following Sunday and Wednesday in New Jersey.  I had no idea that a few days later, my entire office would be sent home, and our state would put in place a stay-at-home order.

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Death-rattle (a poem)

Death has come knocking,

quietly at first and now with a shout

that rattles the planet –

My instincts are conflicted: for so long,

I have craved oblivion, but now that it’s here

there’s a fear that plays with the chemicals

in my broken brain.

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